Myofibroblasts in the stroma of pancreatic cancers promote tumor proliferation, invasion and metastasis by increasing extracellular matrix and secretion of several growth factors. In contrast, the role of myofibroblasts at peritoneally disseminated sites of pancreatic cancer has not yet been determined. This study was designed to assess the role of myofibroblasts at peritoneally disseminated sites of pancreatic cancer. Three primary cultures of human peritoneal myofibroblasts (hPMFs) were established from disseminated sites of pancreatic cancer and their interactions with the SUIT-2 and CAPAN-1 human pancreatic cancer cell lines were analyzed in vitro. Using a model in BALB/c nu/nu mice, we compared the dissemination ability of intraperitoneally implanted pancreatic cancer cells, with and without hPMFs, and examined the presence of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled hPMFs at peritoneally disseminated sites in mice. hPMFs significantly promoted the migration and invasion of pancreatic cancer cells (P<0.05), while the cancer cells significantly promoted the migration and invasion of hPMFs (P<0.05). In vivo, the number of peritoneally disseminated nodules, more than 3 mm in size, was significantly greater in mice implanted with cancer cells plus hPMFs compared to mice implanted with cancer cells alone, with GFP-labeled hPMFs surviving in the peritoneal cavity of the former. hPMFs promote the peritoneal dissemination of pancreatic cancer. The cancer-stromal cell interaction in the peritoneal cavity may be a new therapeutic target to prevent the dissemination of pancreatic cancer.
Frozen human tissues are necessary for research purposes, but tissue banking methods have not changed for more than a decade. Many institutions use cryovial tubes or plastic molds with an optimal cutting temperature compound. However, these methods are associated with several problems, such as samples sticking to one another and the need for a larger storing space. We established an efficient tissue freezing and storing procedure ("tissue tablet method") applicable to both molecular analysis and frozen tissue microarray. Tissue samples were chopped into tiny fragments and embedded into tablet-shaped frozen optimal cutting temperature compound using our original tissue-freezing plate. These tablets can be sectioned and stored in cryovial tubes. We compared the tissue quality of tablet-shaped samples with that of conventional optimal cutting temperature blocks and found no significant difference between them. Tissue microarray is a key method to utilize tissue-banking specimens. However, most tissue microarrays require the coring out of cylindrically shaped tissues from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks. Antigenic changes and mRNA degradation are frequently observed with formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples. Therefore, we have applied tablet-shaped samples to construct frozen tissue microarrays with our original mounting base. Constructed tissue microarray sections showed good morphology without obvious artifact and good immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization results. These results suggest that the quality of arrayed samples was sufficiently appropriate for research purposes. In conclusion, the tissue tablet method and frozen tissue microarray procedure can save time, provides easy tissue handling and processing, and satisfies the demands of research methodologies and tissue banking.
Pancreatic cancer is associated with a devastating prognosis, partially because of its aggressive metastatic ability. Identification of prognostic markers of metastasis would be useful in the clinical management of postoperative patients with pancreatic cancer. Mal, T-cell differentiation protein 2 (MAL2) has been identified as a molecule predictive of metastases; the clinical relevance of MAL2 in pancreatic cancer is unknown.
Extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling is predominantly mediated by fibroblasts using intracellular and extracellular pathways. Although it is well known that extracellular degradation of the ECM by proteases derived from cancer cells facilitates cellular invasion, the intracellular degradation of ECM components by cancer cells has not been clarified. The aim of this study was to characterize collagen internalization, which is the initial step of the intracellular degradation pathway in pancreatic cancer cells, in light of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT).
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